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By Jenn Livingston
For many parents, homeschooling a teen can sound daunting, which is understandable as a quality education is crucial to their future success. Luckily, there are a number of ways to acclimate to the task so you can effectively homeschool your teen. Here are five ways to better educate your teenagers from home.
1. Be Patient with Yourself and Your Teen
Before you do anything else, take a minute and acknowledge how taxing being an educator is. Indeed, if you’re like most parents, homeschooling your teen may be a new concept. By remembering first tries are hard and that nobody gets things perfect the first time, you’re being your own best advocate. It’s okay. New things are difficult. Share your concerns with your son or daughter, be open to hearing your child’s own concerns, and do your best not to act as if school is a chore. If you treat education as just another thing to check off your list, so will your teen.
2. Join in the Fun and Include Family
Lead by example and learn something new, too, or refresh on past knowledge. Invite your teen to learn alongside you or bring in the whole family. A great subject that pleases everyone is nature, and with myriad documentaries available online, sharing new worlds as a family has never been easier. Plus, the appreciation and wonder of the animal and plant kingdoms make excellent discussion topics. Sitting down for family dinner will never be the same.
3. Don’t Forget About the Arts
An area often overlooked is art. Don’t fall into the trap of believing this subject is less important than science or math. In fact, art projects not only help alleviate anxiety and stress but also encourage self-expression. Utilize the internet’s smorgasbord of DIY projects. Making a birdhouse, painting a decorative mug, or designing a new board game, possibly in a topic related to history or government, are excellent ways to engage the creative side of your brain, not to mention your child’s. Plus, art projects are great because in the end, there’s physical proof of productivity as well as something new to hang outside, drink from, or play.
4. Utilize Online Platforms
Games can be particularly helpful for learning in subjects such as math. Many people struggle to find fun in the absorption of technical-type information, so presenting it in a form such as a game can be advantageous. For example, minesweeper tests players’ deductive and reasoning skills, challenging them to pick up patterns in order to avoid various mines hidden throughout the board. The fact that the game is timed can add a sense of exciting urgency to the exercise, while its option to try again can remind your teen that starting over is both normal and easy.
5. Remember the Importance of Socialization
It can be terribly easy to forget how much of a school’s atmosphere is lost without some type of socialization. Part of what makes homeschooling difficult is that it can get lonely quickly, especially if your teen isn’t used to it. Try incorporating time for your son or daughter to socialize with friends either on the telephone or Skype. By sticking to this routine, you’ll be promoting the importance of socialization and community.
Another great way to add a token of normalcy to your new regimen is to find out what your teen’s friends are studying. By coordinating with the parents of your child’s peers, kids who are most likely in your son or daughter’s own grade, you can collaborate on various projects from afar. This will help to make both you and your teen feel engaged and supported. This can be especially beneficial in subjects that may not come naturally to you or your teen.
Though homeschooling can be trying, it’s important to remember that new challenges can be beneficial and rewarding. By utilizing the above steps that best relate to you and your teen’s needs, you’ll be better prepared to overcome new obstacles.